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Ashley S. Roman, MD

Is It True Pregnant Women Shouldn't Take Baths?

Fact or fiction? Find out the truth.

Not at all! Baths are safe, not to mention super-relaxing, when you're pregnant, but you do need to watch the water temperature. Pregnant women shouldn't let their core body temperature get higher than 102.2°F—especially in the first trimester—since there may be a greater risk for baby to be born with brain and spinal cord defects. But you're not likely to overheat in a bathtub, since the water cools over time and your upper body is actually out of the water. To be extra-safe, test the water with a bath thermometer (you can get one made for babies since you'll need one later anyway) and make sure it stays below 100°F. You should avoid hot tubs, jacuzzis and saunas, though. They can raise your body temperature dangerously high in just 10 minutes.